Address Illegal Drug Use through Health Interventions
We, the members of the Medical Action Group (MAG), a health and human rights organization composed of medical doctors, health and allied medical professionals and workers, medical & health sciences students committed to the promotion and protection of the peoples' right to health, welcome the government’s firm resolve to eliminate the widespread use and trafficking of illegal drugs in the country.
As health professionals, we recognize the adverse effects of illegal drug use especially on the youth. We are also fully aware that illegal drug use and trade have destroyed the lives and future of individuals as well as families and communities.
We believe that illegal drug use happens in almost all communities and associated with substantial health and social problems. It is primarily a public health issue with poverty at the root of this serious and widespread phenomenon. MAG stresses the importance of providing treatment and rehabilitation, ensuring access to essential health goods and services, education and decent employment as the necessary conditions to eliminate this drug menace. Rehabilitation is a companion measure to the government’s intensive anti-drug campaign. With the massive number of surrenders, we can’t ignore the need for health interventions. While there are several barriers exist to the provision of health services such as the lack of treatment and rehabilitation centers nationwide due to funding problem and the available services are mainly out-of-pocket, making them unaffordable to the majority in need, concerted efforts should be made. As of now, government-run treatment facilities  are found only in the National Capital Region (NCR), Caraga Region and Regions I, IV-A, V, VI, VII, X and XI. All in all, there are only 42 drug rehabilitation centers nationwide that can cater for only 5,000 patients. Of the 42 drug rehabilitation centers, 14 are state-run while the rest are privately operated. The community and family can definitely help through the establishment of community-based programs, drug after care or local support interventions for out-patients.